Structural characteristics defining high barrier properties in polymeric materials
Authors: Lagaron, J. M.; Catalá, R.; Gavara, R.
Source: Materials Science and Technology, Volume 20, Number 1, January 2004 , pp. 1-7(7)
Publisher: Maney Publishing
Abstract:The packaging industry has dramatically increased the number of packaging systems and designs made of plastics over recent decades. Plastics, in contrast with more traditional packaging materials such as glass and metals, are permeable systems that permit the exchange of low molecular weight compounds, e.g. gases and vapours, between the inner and the outer atmosphere. Despite this drawback, the availability of shapes and forms in which they can be manufactured, their ease of processing and handling, low price, excellent chemical resistance, etc., have made them very attractive in many packaging fields. Consequently, much industrial and academic research has been devoted to understanding the mechanisms of mass transport in polymers, to enable design of materials with improved barrier properties. The present paper reviews some of these developments, and highlights the structural factors that cause polymers to behave as high barrier materials, taking as benchmark the properties of one of the most widely used family of high barrier materials, the ethylene - vinyl alcohol copolymers.
Document Type: Miscellaneous
Publication date: 2004-01-01
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